Help For IT Band Injuries
The past few years have shown a resurgence in the popularity of running as well as traditional strength training involving barbells and squat intensive regimens. These are all excellent options especially when done in combination with one another. This is the time of year that at Atlantic Chiropractic, we see a surge of the condition called IT Band Syndrome. In the vast majority of the cases the patient is an athlete who is performing squat intensive workout routines and/or running a lot.
IT Band stands for Iliotibial band. On the outside of your thigh is a thick band of fibers that runs from the Iliac Crest (think where you put your hands on your hips) all the way down the side of your thigh to the top outside portion of your Tibia (shin bone). It’s typically around the two month mark that athletes are increasing the distance they’re running or weight that they are lifting. This can cause larger hip muscles to become fatigued and the smaller muscles that attach into the IT Band begin to work harder. This leads to the IT Band becoming shorter and tighter. When you bend your knee the lower part of the IT Band is supposed to glide smoothly over the outside of the knee. When it becomes shorter and tighter the friction increases between the IT Band and the knee leading to pain and inflammation. Athletes often complain of pain on the outside of their thigh and/or knee that occurs halfway through, at the end of workouts, going up or down stairs, or after prolonged sitting.
Preventing IT Band Syndrome
To help prevent IT Band Syndrome it’s important to implement a stretching regimen into your workout. Research indicates that dynamic (movement based) stretching at the beginning of your workout and static (stretch and hold) stretching at the end of your workout is an ideal practice. Foam rolling is another great way to improve tissue mobility, I advise patients to begin with rollers that have a smooth surface and to perform 8-10 passes over a muscle daily or every other day. Strengthening your hip abductor muscles is one of the most important things you can do to prevent IT Band Syndrome.
Treating IT Band Syndrome
At Atlantic Chiropractic, IT Band Syndrome is treated utilizing a multifaceted approach that includes soft tissue mobilization (Graston Technique) to improve tissue glide and flexibility, evaluation of your footwear, form, and posture, evaluating for weak or deconditioned hip musculature in order to prescribe a specific rehab program, and of course making sure the pelvis, hips and knees are in proper alignment play a primary role in treatment. Dr. Saracina is also certified in Advanced Fascial Movement Taping and in some cases will utilize RockTape (kinesio tape) to provide support for the IT Band and enhance the healing process.